How important is your diet to your
overall health? A recent study suggests that a healthy
diet can add as many as 14 years to your life. This
mindset is largely ignored by most people. The good
news is that even small changes can make a big difference,
though. And kids are one of the most important groups
of people who should be making changes! Parents have
a responsibility to not short-change their children's
current and future health.
Here are a few changes that are important to consider.
Almost everyone is capable of making at least one
of these lifestyle modifications and if you make all
of them, you will likely add years to your life. How
easy would it be to begin to exercise regularly or
to be careful about your alcohol consumption or quit
smoking or make sure that you are consuming more fruits
and vegetables? Most of these changes really are
not that difficult to accomplish or implement.
The belief by most people is that the changes necessary
to improve their health are too difficult. Here's
* Eliminating trans fats will cut your heart disease
rate by 50%.
* Those with hypertension will see improvement in
their blood pressure simply by eating one small daily
serving of dark chocolate.
* Start eating an apple every day and eat a few servings
* Look for ways to incorporate "super foods" in your
diet. Some of the most effective super foods are:
beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin,
salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts,
On the flip-side, here are a few myths that need dispelling.
* The low-fat movement has not been a good one for
America. After the media blitz and introduction of
low fat food products, Americans got fatter not thinner.
* Not all fats are bad. Diets rich in monosaturated
fats (olive oil) are good for heart disease prevention.
* Eggs are a nutritious, high-protein, whole food
full of vitamins and minerals. They are also relatively
low in saturated fat and calories.
* High cholesterol is not as dangerous to your health
as trans fats and hydrogenated oils.
Real ideas for implementing healthy changes in your
* Start cooking. Salads, soups, stir fries loaded
with vegetables. Just including more fruits and vegetables
into your diet will reduce your potential for a heart
attack by 50%.
* Find a good multivitamin that includes Vitamin B
and Selenium. Look for additional calcium and if you
live in the north, add 1000 IU's of vitamin D.
* If you are on the go a lot, you don't have to sacrifice
healthy eating. It is possible to eat healthy while
out, it just takes a little planning and preparation.
* Start small instead of trying a complete diet overhaul.
Perhaps a handful of raisins or walnuts instead of
chips or crackers. If you're heading out the door,
grab an apple instead of something sugar-laden.
Improving your health dramatically is possible with
only basic modifications and this is well worth it
in the long run.